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Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2006 Jan;84(1):49-59.

Microglia in cerebral ischemia: molecular actions and interactions.

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Neurochemical Research Unit, Department of Psychiatry and Centre for Neuroscience, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


The precise role of microglia in stroke and cerebral ischemia has been the subject of debate for a number of years. Microglia are capable of synthesizing numerous soluble and membrane-bound biomolecules, some known to be neuroprotective, some neurotoxic, whereas others have less definitive bioactivities. The molecular mechanisms through which microglia activate these molecules have thus become an important area of ischemia research. Here we provide a survey review that summarizes the key actions of microglial factors in cerebral ischemia including complement proteins, chemokines, pro-inflammatory cytokines, neurotrophic factors, hormones, and proteinases, as well several important messenger molecules that play a part in how these factors respond to extracellular signals during ischemic injuries. We also provide some new perspectives on how microglial intracellular signaling may contribute to the seemingly contradictory roles of several microglial effector molecules.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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